Well, that's another year done and dusted. Thanks to the UK, Switzerland, and Israel for trickling us enough points so we didn't languish in last place (we got 25 points in the end). Our condolences, United Kingdom (who did end up last). It was never meant to be, but Josh singing flat throughout sealed your fate (that or perhaps every other country in Europe went to an ad break during his performance, just like RTE went to an ad break during Georgia's effort. Yep, while the nice Georgian lady was singing her heart out live, we were watching ads).
Speaking of bum notes, according to reports, the winner of the contest - Germany's Lena Meyer-Landrut - "sang bum notes at a rate of 21.9 per minute." That'll happen when you're doing an ode to Kate Nash on crack (something not to be sniffed at considering it got her in excess of 230 points in the end.. although the fact that the song in question, Satellite, has been number one in several countries prior to the contest might have helped). Our Niamh Kavanagh was near pitch perfect, but she went for more of an advent candle look, rather than the usual glamour model / CGI elfin boy / Avril Lavigne alike, so she was denied deserved votes. There was one better singer than Niamh, however, Belgium's Tom Rice. His simple Me and My Guitar, which was more Walking in Memphis than anything else, saw him sing "only eight wrong notes." And it wasn't the usual, manically homogenised Eurovision fair... Hello Moldova.
As always, there were some sights to be seen, like the winner of Serbia's version of Pop Idol. A spooky Sue Pollard mannequin dressed as a ring master by way of Pineapple Dance Studio's Andrew Stone. Spain's homage to Leo Sayer, Daniel Diges, had to endure a stage invasion (1.10 minute mark. The performance's only highpoint. Why they insisted on performing again is beyond me, it only served to be a complete let down the second time around); Romania's Ovi (AKA Saved By The Bell's Kelly Kapowski) got sewn into a catsuit; and Armenia thought they'd send along their answer to Angelina Jolie, complete with pearl necklace effect, and an oversized, bush-sprouting apricot stone as their ambassadors - which pleased the Dutch greatly (The Netherlands gave Armenia 12 points. Many stag parties await). We also had Tia Carrere duetting with David Copperfield; Lulu on her lonesome; the embodiement of lava; and a dancing android's arse.
Believe it or not, it was Russia's Peter Nalitch singing Lost and Forgotton that had me whooping with delight. We have David Spade on guitar, Ritchie Kavanagh on keyboard, and Wes Anderson directing the proceedings. Wonderfully perplexing points include the 1.16 minute mark when Peter starts singing to clearly a hastily drawn sketch, and his vocal prowess when the wind machine kicks in at the end.
The feel good moment of the night, however, came from Norway's interval act - Madcon's Glow. They devised the ingenious plan of having Europe break out into a flash mob. The likes of Spain and Iceland didn't do too well, while Sweden, Lithuania and - yes - Ireland (in Temple Bar's Meeting House Square) pulled off a storm.
The sight of cities across Europe dancing in tandem, as well as webcam shots from people's sitting rooms in which babies and dogs were being fecked about with aplomb (Right Said Fred's Richard Fairbrass even put in an appearance in Dublin), and one lone man giving it socks in the middle of the North Sea, gave this cynical ole' crone goose bumps. If you've not seen it, it's 7.30 minutes well spent - if only to titter at the overzealous security guards.